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Oshawa, Ont. – Durham Public School Board workers gave their negotiating committee a strong strike mandate today, voting 93 per cent in favour of strike action if a fair deal cannot be reached. The workers, who are fighting for more time to do their jobs and other issues including wages, benefits and job postings, will be joined by CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan for a solidarity rally at 5:00 pm, on Monday, March 19, at the Durham District School Board, 400 Taunton Road, in Whitby.

This school board has been dragging its feet, and refusing to deal with our issues,” said Don Bryans, president of CUPE 218. “We are tired of being taken for granted and are prepared to strike. It’s time for management to come back to the table to resolve the outstanding issues and prevent a strike that will hurt students.” The workers will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 am, on March 21.

Monday’s rally will raise awareness of an impending strike by 2,100 educational assistants (EAs), custodial and maintenance workers, office, clerical and technical staff. Population growth in the Durham region and underfunding by the provincial government have increased workloads, leading to workers staying late, skipping breaks, working during lunch and taking work home, all without pay.

  • Who?
    Sid Ryan, CUPE Ontario President
    Durham Public School Board workers and supporters
  • What?
    Solidarity rally for CUPE 218 members
  • When?
    Monday, March 19, at 5:00 pm
  • Where?
    Durham District School Board,
    400 Taunton Road, Whitby

Mediation talks with the employer broke off on Friday, March 9. CUPE 218 offered to meet with management during March break to reach a settlement but the school board refused, saying they were not available. No further talks have been scheduled. “We are ready to resume talks to reach a negotiated settlement before the legal strike deadline,” said Bryans. “Where’s management?”


For further information, please contact:
Sid Ryan, CUPE Ontario President, 416-209-0066 (cell)
Don Bryans, President CUPE 218, 905-571-7879
Joanne Wilson, CUPE National Representative, 289-404-0797
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999, 416-458-3983 (cell)